Coronado National Forest and Sabino Canyon Trail

When going to Arizona, one of the things that my mom and I wanted to see were some Saguaro Cacti. This particular type of cactus only grows in a few certain regions, and we luckily were going to be in that region, so we set off to see some.

Our first spot to see them was on the Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway in Tucson. The Byway is a 27 mile stretch of road that takes you up to the top of Mt. Lemmon. At the bottom of the highway you can see a lot of cacti, but towards the top you get to see really beautiful mountains. There are spots to pull off the side of the road and see the scenery and take pictures.

As you can see, there were lots of unique rock formations to look at.  The cactus portion of the scenery only last for a very short time, so I wouldn’t recommend this if you strictly want to see only that. But I do recommend driving up the Byway to see other beautiful sites.

I think my favorite part of the Byway was getting to see these beautiful mountains. I loved how many viewpoints there were off the side of the road to pull over at.

But by far, the best place to see the Saguaro Cactus is the Sabino Canyon Trail.  We decided to do the tram tour for $10 and it was a great value. The tram makes 9 stops along the route before turning around to go back to the Visitor’s Center. You can get off at any stop and begin the many trails on the route, or just have a picnic and walk around a little bit. If you would rather walk the entire route you can do so for free. Even in December it was pretty warm, so have plenty of water and sunscreen.

The above picture gives you some perspective as to how large these cacti are.

The Saguaro Cactus isn’t the only cactus you will see either on the tram ride. The cactus above is called the “teddy bear” cactus because it looks fluffy. Apparently this is the worst kind of cactus to touch according to our guide.

 

If you are in the area I highly recommend a stop at both locations. For Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway we just used Google Maps to navigate to it.  For Sabino Canyon Trail we used this address:

5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road, Tucson, AZ 85750

That address will take you to the Visitor’s Center where you can buy your ticket for the tram ride. There are also a few other trails that you can start from the vicinity of the Visitor’s Center.

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